A tougher maths curriculum may not get many cheers in classrooms ("DfE warning: maths will be tougher under new curriculum", 25 March), but it is essential if the UK is to match our economic competitors.
A survey of 24 developed countries for the Nuffield Foundation has found that England, Wales and Northern Ireland have the lowest participation levels in post-16 maths, with only 20 per cent of such students studying the subject. In most other developed countries at least 50 per cent of post-16s studied maths; in a third, it was studied by all.
Is it time to make some kind of maths compulsory in post-16 education? Until there are popular and well-understood post-16 maths qualifications standing alongside A-levels, we are likely to remain at the bottom of this table.
Professor Sir John Holman, Department of Chemistry, York University.